The History of Tekirdağ

Tekirdağ Province has strategically important place because of its geographical location. The province is a passing region between Anatolia and the Balkans. The affairs of Asia and Europe tribes passing through the straits have connected Tekirdağ with the history of Istanbul as a result of its being close to Istanbul. The effects of the attacks carried out for Istanbul were seen in our city and its having fertile soil leaded to being under the domination of many tribes.

Tekirdağ Province was under the influence of various civilizations during its history dating back to 4000 B.C. During this period, Tekirdağ was also called BISANTHE, RODOSTO and TEKFURDAĞI. Not giving exact chronological order, the inhabited places were determined in provincial borders during prehistoric and historic ages. Tekirdağ doesn’t have settlements belonging to the periods of Palaeolithic and Neolithic but the findings of Chalcolithic Period were encountered in the Caves of Güngörmez and Güneşkaya in Şarköy as well as in Toptepehöyük in Marmara Ereğlisi. According to the researches conducted on the surface of Tekirdağ coastline, the traces of the settlements were encountered in Early Bronze Age intensely. A great migration wave occured in Thrace during late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. This period couldn’t be enlightened exactly as antique sources and archaeological findings fell short. Thrace was opened to trade by Greek colonies’ having been established in 7 B.C. In this period, some towns were established on the Marmara coasts of Thrace Thrace entered into the domination of Persian after Scythian Campaign of Persian King Dereus in 514-513 B.C. This dominance had continued by the time Attic-Delos Naval Unit, which was formed against Persian threat by Athens, wiped out Persians. In 342 B.C. Macedonian King Philiph II made Odrys Kingdom one of his own properties by invading Thrace and Thrace entered into the domination of Lysimachos after the death of Great Alexander.

The developments, which started with Roman Emperor Tiberius’s sending a governor to Thrace in 19 AD, ended with Emperor Claudius’s founding a Roman State in Thrace in 46 AD. Thrace had stayed under the domination of Roman Empire for many years. After the Empire’s having been divided into two, Thrace, which was in the territory of East Roman Empire, started to enter into the domination of Turks by landing of forces controlled by Süleyman Paşa in Gelibolu in 1354. In 1356, Şarköy and Malkara were invaded and in 1357 Murat I made Tekirdağ and Çorlu Turks’ own land. By the way, even if Byzantines took the land of Tekirdağ back for a short time, Murat I made this land Ottoman’s again in 1363.

Our land exposed to invasion by Bulgarian during Balkan Wars (1912) was liberated from the enemy. After World War I Greek forces taking the advantages of opportunities by Mondros Armistice Agreement occupied Tekirdağ on 20th July 1920. The Greek occupation was put an end on 13th November 1922 and Tekirdağ became a part of Turkish rule.

On 29th October M. Ereğlisi, on 30th October Çerkezköy and Saray, on 1st November Çorlu, on 2nd November Muratlı, on 14th November Malkara and Hayrabolu, on 17th November Şarköy was liberated from the enemy occupation and they became parts of Turkish rule.

During the process of establishing new organization as required by the law of Teşkilat-ı Esasiye, Tekirdağ became a province, but the organization couldn’t be established immediately in the forces of War of Independence and it became city center on 15th October 1923 before proclamation of Republic.

The unforgettable happy dates of Tekirdağ include the birth of Namık Kemal on 24th December 1840 in Tekirdağ, preparation of 19th division making history in Dardanelles War under the leadership of Ataturk and Ataturk’s coming to Tekirdağ and giving the first lesson as Head teacher with the occasion of Alphabet Reform.